At least 241 Chinese nationals have been detained in the first three months of this year as crackdowns intensify in the Kingdom. Statistics indicate that Chinese nationals stand at first place in the number of offences, surpassing Vietnamese, Thai, South Korean and US nationals, said a Ministry of Interior report released on Tuesday.
The report came after senior police officers, department directors and representatives of embassies attended a first quarter meeting at the Ministry of Interior headquarters on Tuesday to discuss the results of the ministry’s hotline.
Eleven of the cases reported to the hotline were from foreigners and embassies. Eight of these have been solved, while three cases are currently under investigation.
The report said that during the first quarter of this year – from December 20 last year to March 19 – foreigners committed 82 offences across the capital and 11 provinces.
A total of 341 people from 20 nationalities were detained for committing 20 types of offences. Chinese nationals committed 241 offences followed by Vietnamese (49), Thais (926), South Koreans (four) and Americans (three).
The report said a total of 167 foreigners were victims of the same offences across the capital and 14 provinces over the same period. In total there were 211 victims from 35 nationalities, with Chinese nationals suffering the most at 98, followed by French (12), English (11), Germans (nine), and Americans (seven).
“The offences were caused in connection with drug dealing, sexual harassment, illegal marriages, the overstaying of visas and so on. The majority of victims were foreigners who suffered from accidents, illnesses, suicide and traffic accidents,” the report said.
Thong Lim, the deputy National Police chief in charge of the hotline, and National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun declined to comment on the issue.
O’Russey I commune police chief Thong Mardy told The Post on Tuesday: “In my opinion, the Chinese nationals who come don’t seek to learn our laws.
“The Chinese nationals who come here were mostly criminals in China who have poor track records. And they commit offences . . . were we to implement our country’s legal measures, there’d be no pardons for them."
“The issue is that Chinese nationals boast of relations with the Royal Government of Cambodia and claim they are very intimate. These are personal views, not common ones. If our government recognised the Sino-Cambodian friendship ties, they would not be allowed to come to our country in such an anarchic manner,” he said.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said the increasing inflow of Chinese nationals into Cambodia is an issue that civil society groups have raised for discussion. They have called on the authorities to take proper action.
Chey said the government gazes upwards at the Kingdom’s economic progress through investments and tourism brought by internationals. However, they may view Cambodia as an anarchic country which manages its foreigners poorly, he claimed.
“The government should regard Chinese nationals as a group who are to be placed under administrative control and monitored for various offences. There is doubt all around when it comes to their driver’s licences – did they obtain them through corruption or are they [driving] without a driver’s licence?
“We insist that there be inspections of their comings and goings, their residences and their workplaces to ensure that they respect our traditions and customs, and Cambodian law."
“Otherwise Chinese nationals who hold guns and bullets of all kinds will raise worries that the authorities’ rules are no longer effective,” he said.